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Cancer Gene Ther. 2013 Oct;20(10):544-51. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2013.51. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Toca 511 gene transfer and 5-fluorocytosine in combination with temozolomide demonstrates synergistic therapeutic efficacy in a temozolomide-sensitive glioblastoma model.

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Tocagen, San Diego, CA, USA.


Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec), an amphotropic retroviral replicating vector (RRV), can successfully and safely deliver a functional, optimized cytosine deaminase (CD) gene to tumors in orthotopic glioma models. This agent, in conjunction with subsequent oral extended-release 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) (Toca FC), is currently under investigation in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma . Temozolomide (TMZ) with radiation is the most frequently used first-line treatment for patients with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults. However, subsets of patients with certain genetic alterations do not respond well to TMZ treatment and the overall median survival for patients who respond remains modest, suggesting that combinatorial approaches may be necessary to significantly improve outcomes. We show that in vitro TMZ delays but does not prevent RRV spread, nor interfere with Toca 511+5-FC-mediated cell killing in glioma tumor cells, and in vivo there is no significant hematologic effect from the combination of 5-FC and the clinically relevant dose of TMZ. A synergistic long-term survival advantage is observed in mice bearing an orthotopic TMZ-sensitive glioma after Toca 511 administration followed by coadministration of TMZ and 5-FC. These results provide support for the investigation of this novel combination treatment strategy in patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma.

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